In a major setback to the Congress party in Baba Bakala segment, three-time legislator and senior party leader Ranjit Singh Chajjalwaddi on Friday revolted against the party ticket to Santokh Singh Bhalaipur.
He warned to contest the assembly elections as an independent candidate in case the party does not change its decision within 24 hours.
Chajjalwaddi was elected as MLA from Jandiala Guru segment in 1985, from Khadoor Sahib in 1992 and again from Khadoor Sahib 1997 from Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). Denied ticket in 2007 polls, he joined Congress in 2008 and contested the assembly elections on its ticket in 2012 unsuccessfully.
This time, he was considered a top contender but the party opted Bhalaipur in the segment, which is reserved for Scheduled Castes. Not only in Baba Bakala, Chajjalwaddi also has sway in Jandiala Guru segment. Upset over being denied the ticket again, he called a meeting of his supporters, including his son Satinder Singh Chhajjalwaddi, who is an active youth Congress leader in the area and scores of other officer bearers at his residence at Chajjalwaddi village.
Along with Chajjalwadddi family, all the office bearers also tendered their resignations protesting candidature at Bhalaipur.
While speaking to HT, he claimed that seven vice-presidents and 16 general secretaries from district Congress Committee (Amritsar rural) and six vicepresidents, seven general secretaries and five secretaries from district Congress committee (Tarn Taran) has resigned from the party and vowed to support him in gurdwara if he contests the poll independently.
He alleged that Bhalaipur made efforts to defeat him during last assembly election. “It becomes clear to know the fact that he was the office in-charge of Baljit Singh Bhatti, who was fielded as an independent candidate to ensure my defeat. It is unfair for the party to give the ticket to such a person who has indulged in anti-party activities,” he said.
“We will not only contest the polls in Baba Bakala, but also field our candidate from Jandiala Guru constituency, joining hands with Congress’ rebellion faction in case the party doesn’t corrects its move,” he added.
Chhajjalwaddi had won 1985, 1992 and 1997 assembly elections by the margin of 1500, 700 and 34000 votes respectively.